Luke 19:44 (NASB) "...and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

Jesus is on the Mount of Olives, not long before his crucifixion, many disciples in tow, when some of the Pharisees in the accompanying multitude speak out and say, - "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." - His disciples had just praised Jesus thus:- "BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD" - Luke 38. Jesus, in the subsequent verses leading up to verse 44, issues what amounts to a proclamation of impending doom for Jerusalem, it's people and their temple, basically for not recognizing what his disciples had already intonated, in that he, as the true Son of God had come in the name of the Almighty God to reign as king... (The fact that this kingdom reign was not to happen for some time, is beside the point for the purposes of this Q).

On the face of things, two spiritual and apparently distinctive personages of D/deities are being referenced here, one being the Almighty God and one being the (only begotten) Son of God (brackets mine). The Trinitarians amongst us will naturally take issue with this last sentence but I'm just saying it, as I see it, in Luke, after all. I haven't added, or taken away from the NASB translation. However, if one was to go to the NET bibles translation of the particular verse in question here, it will be seen that the words..."from God"..., with a capital G, have been added after visitation... Is this not an unashamed (add on) attempt to equate Jesus with God, in order to support a Trinitarian bias that is not even evident in the Greek, at least as pertains to Luke 19:37-44, and if so, what are we to deduce from such a blatant addition ??

  • Thayer says 'inspection' or 'investigation' Strong 1984 which agrees with the idea of 'oversight' when applied to bishops. YLT also has 'inspection'. I am reminded of the man with the measuring rod in Revelation who measures the temple and the worshippers but leaves out the outer court. Interesting question. (Up-voted +1.)
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 21, 2021 at 14:32
  • @NigelJ- Thank you for the vote of interest. The word 'inspection' is also used in the NWT. Liked the 'Revelation' comparison. Am not surprised that you, being a staunch Trinitarian, resisted to comment on the NET bible's two word 'unabashed' addition, although it's not as if we, at least, haven't already debated the merits/non merits of equating Jesus with God. Commented May 21, 2021 at 17:26
  • check biblearc site for NET translation notes, and similar studies and see commentaries on biblehub. Quote full passage using block quotes.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 13:31
  • @Michael16-Hello again! Almost 5 years ago now I had an ongoing debate with a local minister on Dr. Daniel Wallace's notes, the main man behind the NET bible, regarding John 1:1 and his use of the adverb "fully" (as opposed to a definite or indefinite article scenario) before the second 'theos'. Colwell's rule aside. He finished up by saying his use of "fully" was used to better convey the definitive aspect of "God" to the average English reader. My retort was..."maybe, he was meaning the average Trinity based English thinker"....tbc... Commented May 22, 2021 at 14:27
  • @Michael16....Ever since then I have been wary of the Net bible and it's Trinitarian bias. Luke 19:44 and the addition of "from God" is yet another example of this bias. You should check out "Barnes" commentary, if you haven't already. I felt he nailed it and he refrained from equating Jesus/Messiah with God. Commented May 22, 2021 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


When reading the Greek, it is all too easy to sometimes confuse several closely related words:

  • ἐπισκοπέω = to take care of by looking at, Heb 12:15, 1 Peter 5:2.
  • ἐπισκοπή = visitation, Luke 19:44, Acts 1:20, 1 Tim 3:1, 1 Peter 2:12
  • ἐπίσκοπος = overseer, supervisor, Acts 20:28, Pil 1:1, 1 Tim 3:2, Tit 1:7, 1 Peter 2:25

In the specific case of ἐπισκοπή (episkopé) which only occurs in the four places listed above, BDAG provides the following meanings:

  1. The act of watching over with special reference to being present, visitation, Luke 19:44, 1 Peter 2:12
  2. position of responsibility, position, assignment, Acts 1;20
  3. engagement in oversight, supervision, 1 Tim 3:1

More specifically in Luke 19:44 (which appears to allude to Wisdom 3:7) we have Jesus talking to the city of Jerusalem, V41-44, and what would happen to it in the near future:

41 As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it 42 and said, “If only you had known on this day what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will level you to the ground—you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation

This speech in Luke 19 immediately follows the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, whereupon Jesus then clears the temple of its "robbers".

I do not see any direct reference to "deities", or the Mount of Olives, except previously from whence He had already departed in V29. The crowd (V38) quotes Ps 118:26,

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.

This reference to the OT YHWH is frequent in the NT which often attributes these titles to Jesus, but not in this case. The crowd is clearly saying in V38 that Jesus is comiong in the name of the Lord/LORD.

The main problem in V44 is who is doing the visitation which about which the Greek text is silent. Many versions supply "from God" at the end of the verse. However, this debatable. Ellicott suggests this -

The time of thy visitation.—The phrase is not found in any other Gospel. The idea of “visitation” presents two aspects, one of pardon (Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78; Luke 7:16), the other of chastisement (1Peter 2:12). In both, however, the act of “visiting” implied looking after, caring for, and so a purpose of mercy. Modern usage—especially, perhaps, the common legal phrase of a man’s dying by the “visitation of God,” of sickness being “His visitation”—has given undue prominence to the latter thought. Here it appears to include both. The Christ had visited it first with a message of peace. Then came the discipline of suffering, and Jerusalem knew not how to make a right use of either.

  • I'm disappointed. I expected better from you. I do, however, appreciate the fact that you answered and presumably voted me up. IMO though, you and Ellicott missed on this one. Barnes' commentary, however, nails it. As for those other bible's that add "from God", I wouldn't give them 'the time of day'. Commented May 22, 2021 at 2:39
  • @OldeEnglish - my apologies if I have misunderstood your question. How were you disappointed?
    – Dottard
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 11:26
  • First of all check out my notes to @Michael16 above.... You were basically at odds with Barnes' commentary for one thing. You also do not differentiate within 'the crowd' as per Luke here, Ps 118:26 aside. How you cannot see that the visitation, inspection, or indeed observation was an, albeit veiled, reference to the Messiah/Jesus, escapes me. While you are correct in that there are no 'direct' references to "deities", there are nevertheless two being subjected here. One with a Capital "D" and one with a small "d" and Barnes does not try to equate one with the other. Commented May 22, 2021 at 15:04
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    @OldeEnglish - now I am even more mystified. I have no problem with Barnes' commentary (which I read) - I answered the question you asked. Perhaps you should have asked, "Who was Jesus referring to that visited?" I agree it was the Messiah, Himself.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 22, 2021 at 21:50
  • The problem was that the title of the Q. was longer but I was restricted to only so many words. I forget exactly how I was trying to put the Q. but I have taken your point and reconfigured the Q. Hopefully it is now more appropriately put. Commented May 23, 2021 at 0:11

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